Could a Red Flag gun confiscation law gain political traction in Tennessee?

Jun 12, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee has not yet considered a method for curbing gun violence that 22 other states are currently debating.

The advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety says six states have passed so-called Red Flag laws and 22 more have legislation pending.

Credit tennesseefirearms.com

Red Flag laws give police the authority to seize guns if the owner is deemed a threat to the public.

A Red Flag law is being championed locally by the Safe Tennessee Project where Beth Joslin Roth is the Director.

“We’ve seen about a 160 percent increase in gun violence, homicides, in Nashville over the last four years. Both Memphis and Knoxville have broken decades old homicide records.”

Indiana passed a Red Flag law years ago. University of Indianapolis researcher Aaron Kivisto (KIH-vis-toe) recently completed a study on the law’s impact on suicides.

“What we found was a 7.5 percent reduction in firearms suicides without a real corresponding increase in non-firearms suicide. In the aggregate we saw an overall, statewide, decrease.”

The Tennessee Firearms Association has lobbied successfully in recent years to loosen the state’s gun laws. Director John Harris says the group would be “open minded” about a Red Flag proposal for Tennessee. But he says the devil is in the details.

“People could get put on it, not even know they’re on the list and really not have any means of getting off of it. We don’t want to see that kind of thing happen.”

To listen to the complete interviews with John Harris, Dr. Kivisto and Beth Roth, look for this story at WMOT.org.